How to display pie charts in Matplotlib Python?

Matplotlib is a popular Python package that is used for data visualization. Visualizing data is a key step since it helps understand what is going on in the data without actually looking at the numbers and performing complicated computations. It helps in communicating the quantitative insights to the audience effectively.

Matplotlib is used to create 2 dimensional plots with the data. It comes with an object oriented API that helps in embedding the plots in Python applications. Matplotlib can be used with IPython shells, Jupyter notebook, Spyder IDE and so on.

It is written in Python. It is created using Numpy, which is the Numerical Python package in Python.

Python can be installed on Windows using the below command −

pip install matplotlib

The dependencies of Matplotlib are −

Python ( greater than or equal to version 3.4)
Free type

Pie chart, the name is such due to the shape of the plot. It is in the form of circle, with parts separated like a ‘pie’. It shows data as percentages.

Let us understand how Matplotlib can be used to create a pie plot −


import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

labels = 'Label_1', 'Label_2', 'Label_3'
sizes = [10, 34, 56]
explode = (0, 0.1, 0)

fig1, ax1 = plt.subplots()
ax1.pie(sizes, explode=explode, labels=labels, autopct='%1.1f%%',
shadow=True, startangle=90)



  • The required packages are imported and its alias is defined for ease of use.

  • The labels for the pie chart and the size of every ‘pie’ in the pie chart is defined.

  • An empty figure is created using the ‘figure’ function.

  • The ‘subplot’ function is used to create an area to plot the graph.

  • The data is plotted using the ‘plot’ function.

  • The set_xlabel, set_ylabel and set_title functions are used to provide labels for ‘X’ axis, ‘Y’ axis and title.

  • The plot is defined as pie chart by specifying ‘pie’.

  • It is shown on the console using the ‘show’ function.

Updated on: 18-Jan-2021


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